Global health systems remain far from achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goal 3 (SDG 3): "To ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages", and SDG 10: "Reduced inequalities". Progress has been made in many areas, notably in increasing life expectancy, reducing maternal and child mortality, and fighting communicable diseases. However, progress has stalled in some areas and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has devastated health systems and communities, threatening the reversal of decades of work.
Simultaneously, in 2020, the murder of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, by a white police officer in the USA, sparked a fresh wave of international protests against police brutality and racism. The death of George Floyd and other black Americans has catalyzed the exposure and discussions around deep-rooted injustices and systemic racism. Health systems are not immune and there is strikingly clear evidence of institutional racism, other forms of discrimination, and inequities in healthcare, globally.
In 2020, Health Systems Global called upon the health services research community to consider how we can re-imagine health systems for better health and social justice. In support of this, and SDGs 3 and 10, BMC Health Services Research launched a collection to curate innovative research broadly examining the environmental, political, and social factors that perpetuate health inequities and social injustices in health systems. We welcomed submissions covering the following topics:
- Accessibility and affordability of care
- All forms of prejudice, discrimination, and marginalization
- Freedom of movement and borders
- Health disparities
- Health policy, politics and power
- New technologies, artificial intelligence, and big data for combatting health inequities
- Quality of health services and meeting the healthcare needs of people facing discrimination and marginalization
- Resource distribution
Research could also focus on specific marginalized population groups, such as indigenous populations or ethnic minority groups.
This collection is no longer accepting submissions and closed on 28th May 2022.
Magdalena Szaflarski, PhD, University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA
Magdalena Szaflarski, PhD, is a medical sociologist specializing in health and health care disparities and the social determinants of health. Dr. Szaflarski’s research has focused on immigrant health and health care, medicalization of cannabis, religion and HIV, social factors in epilepsy, and, recently, COVID-19 experiences and reactions.